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Google Presents Family Link, Its Own Parental Control Software For Android

Google Presents Family Link, Its Own Parental Control Software For AndroidGoogle has just angled Apple on mobile in a compelling way: today the company made an announcement regarding the launch of Family Link, an application for parents that enables them to establish child’s first Google account, as well as utilize a series of parental controls to track and manage screen time, daily limits, device “bedtimes,” and which apps kids can use. While all the major mobile device providers Google, Amazon and Apple included offer parental controls on their devices Family Link is different because it’s a two-party system. Instead, it works more like the third-party parental monitor and controlling software already on the market, where an app installed on a parent’s device is used to configure settings and keep an eye on kids’ digital behavior.

For the system to work, Family Link requires that both child and parent use Android. The parent will first need to download the Family Link mobile app to their own device, running Android KitKat (4.4) or higher. Google says an iOS version is not yet available. From this app, parents will set up the child’s Google account. Google has designed this app for those children under the age of 13. Then, on the kid’s device, the child signs in using these new credentials. The child’s tablet or phone must be running either Marshmallow (6.1) or supported device running Android Nougat (7.0).

After signing in, parents would be able to track and log child’s phone usage and they can see how much time kids spend in various apps, via weekly and monthly activity reports. From the parent’s app, moms and dads can set a number of rules for their kids, including how long kids are allowed to be on their mobile devices every day, which apps can be installed and at what time the devices can no longer be used that day. Parents can block or approve apps the child wants to download from the Google Play Store, much like how Apple’s iCloud Family Sharing’s “Ask” feature works today. Similar to Apple, Google doesn’t offer any suggestions as to whether a given app should be approved, however that decision is left up to the parents’ discretion.

Explains Google:

“Family Link can’t make the apps or services on their phone that were designed for adults kid-safe; it’s up to parents to choose what’s right for their kid.”

A deficiency of guidance is one of the gaping holes with many parental control systems today. That’s unfortunate given that all the app stores have app ratings. It appears that simply highlighting the rating to parents during the “Ask” process could go a long way to helping parents make better decisions. That being said, Family Link does allow parents to at least distantly configure the filtering options for some of Google’s own apps, like the Chrome Browser and the Google Search app. This will protect kids from adult content and other inappropriate material when doing web searches.

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Allo App Of Google Can Uncover What You’ve Searched To Your Friends

Allo App Of Google Can Uncover What You’ve Searched To Your FriendsAllo, Google’s mobile messaging app can uncover your Google search history to people you message, which could have big privacy implications. The behavior appears to be a defect. I noticed the problem in a recent voice conversation with a friend, in which I was testing the app. Allo includes Google Assistant, the company’s latest version of its virtual assistant software. Google recently announced plans to make Assistant accessible on Android phones. The feature has been available on Google’s own Google Home and Pixel phone, its competitor to Amazon’s wildly successful Echo.

An exclusive feature of Allo is that you can use Assistant while in the middle of a conversation with a friend. For example, while talking to your friend about where to eat, you can ask Assistant to search for restaurants in a certain area. But Assistant isn’t always perfect. Sometimes, it responds with answers unrelated to questions at hand, or it will respond with an answer to an earlier question and it’s then that it can negligently disclose a previous search query. In the middle of our conversation, my friend directed Assistant to identify itself. Instead of offering a pithy retort or a name, it responded with a link from Harry Potter fan website Pottermore.

The link led to an extract from “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix,” the fifth book in J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series. But the response was not merely a nonsequitur. It was a result related to previous searches my friend said he had done a few days earlier. It didn’t come from any of my search histories, since I had not viewed any Harry Potter-related websites in the days before our conversation. We also did not mention Harry Potter in our text exchange until Assistant brought it up.

Fortunately, in this case, it was just Harry Potter stuff. But you can imagine how uncomfortable it could be if something more sensitive popped up. It seems to be a potentially damaging glitch since it could become a major privacy issue for anyone using the app. Already, Allo has been disapproved by privacy backer because it does not use end-to-end encryption by default. Messages sent in default modes are accessible to law enforcement agencies by warrant. Assistant tries to safeguard against sharing private information in Allo.

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The 55-Inch Google Jamboard Will Cost You $5,000, But Is It Worth?

In October 2016, Google has released the Jamboard, which has 55-inch display monitor that will work with its G Suite tools for enterprises.The 55-Inch Google Jamboard Will Cost You $5,000, But Is It Worth?

Earlier, Google has reported that the price of the Jamboard will be under $6,000, and it is seen that the company is keeping its promise about the price and release date of the Jamboard.

Google Jamboard Will Cost $4,999

Google has disclosed that the Jamboard will have a price tag of $4,999, but this is ultimately an expensive piece of hardware. Apart from the price tag, the Jamboard will cost $600 as the annual fee and the customers who will purchase it before Sept 30. will see a price reduction by $300.

The Jamboard will have a free wall mount, two stylus pens and an eraser. Additional pieces of the stylus and the eraser will cost $9.99 each.

The Jamboard will be released in May, with a slow rollout to other areas around the world.

How Is The Google Jamboard Useful?

A price tag of $4,999 is very high, but it was not designed for personal purposes. Rather, the device is developed to be used by enterprise customers for digital collaboration.

The device is connected to the internet and starts off as blank space on which users can write using a stylus. Apart from being a digital whiteboard it also allows users to access collaborative tools, such as including pulling in files which are stored on the Google Drive.

Its features include a 55-inch 4K ultra high-definition display with a 120 Hz touch scan rate and a 60 Hz video refresh rate. The device can detect up to 16 simultaneous touch points and has the ability to recognize handwriting and shapes. The Jamboard also has a built-in 2K telepresence camera, along with speakers and microphones.

Google Jamboard vs. Microsoft Surface Hub

As compared to Jamboard the Microsoft Surface Hub, a device with similar uses was released in 2015 with an $8,999 price tag.

Microsoft has maintained its sustained performance, but with recent advancements being made for its G Suite, it seems that Google is making important process in the space.

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Google’s Pixel and Pixel XL Microphone Faces Hardware Issues

A number of Google Pixel and Pixel XL users are facing serious issues with the smartphone’s microphone. Such as, audio input getting entirely disabled.Google's Pixel and Pixel XL Microphone Faces Hardware Issues

The Google Pixel and Pixel XL are the hottest smartphones currently available in the market, but they still have some hardware issues. Various issues were reported since their release such as audio problems, Bluetooth connectivity issues, unresponsiveness, freezing camera and lens flaring etc.

Issues with Google Pixel Microphone

The recent inconvenience experienced by Google Pixel and Pixel XL owners involves the smartphones microphones. Google Support forum displays “severe microphone issues,” and these issues are reported by a large number of users. Users have also flocked to Reddit to report the issue.

Google Pixel holds three microphones but, this issues can disable all the audio inputs in some cases.

It is Hardware Bug, Not A Software Issue

One of the Google’s current employee Brian Rakowski has responded to the user queries on the Google Support Forum, saying that the microphones’ failure is basically a hardware issue rather than a software one.

The reported issues in Google Pixel and Pixel XL microphone includes a hairline crack in the microphone component soldering or a faulty microphone. But, Google says that these scenarios are rare and they impact less than one percent of the total users.

Good News And The Bad News

Good news is that this issue is not a widespread issue and it affects less than one percent of Pixel and the Pixel XL phones. But, the bad news is that the hardware issues causes more hassle. Unlike software issue which can be fixed with a simple patch or an update, the hardware issue requires repairing or replacing the device altogether.

In some cases, the microphone issue disappears due to external factors like ambient temperature or grip, according to user reports. Google claims that the users facing this hardware issues can send in their Google Pixel or Pixel XL and get a free replacement.

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Google to Open a New HQ in Britain and Create more than 3,000 Jobs

Google to Open a New HQ in Britain and Create more than 3,000 JobsNow here is some great news for Britain. Recently BBC reported that Google has declared its plans to open a new headquarters of the company in UK i.e. in London. And going by the BBC reports, this could mean that more than 3,000 jobs will be created in the nation by 2020.

Sundar Pichai, Google CEO, also confirmed the news to BBC and added that the company is a big opportunity in the UK. This is regardless of the nation’s choice to leave the European Union in June – a move that has prompted to numerous enormous organizations considering their alternatives and interests in the area.

Pichai further added that the UK offers a favorable market for the company. Google sees big opportunities for growth there .This is a major announcement from Google as UK has best talents which is beneficial for the company. So it can utilize these talents and be able to manufacture awesome products if the company builds a set up here for a long term.

The new HQ will be founded on Google’s King’s Cross grounds, which will comprise of three structures out and out, which incorporates two rented properties. The whole grounds, including the new reason fabricated 650,000 square-feet HQ, will house 7,000 representatives. Google at present utilizes 4,000 individuals in the UK.

The building has been designed by Thomas Heatherwick, the man behind London’s “Garden Bridge” extend and the London 2012 Olympics cauldron.

The BBC evaluated, with the assistance of development experts, that the cost of building the new building and significantly expanding its staff could see the new UK speculation cost more than £1 billion ($1.24 billion.)

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Google Hires Ex Motorola President (Rick Osterloh) as SVP in hardware Division

Google Hires Ex Motorola President (Rick Osterloh) as SVP in hardware DivisionThe Google is working on setting up the Hardware unit for handling all hardware requirements for their gadgets. The new Hardware unit from the company will fulfil the demands of development and production of latest Nexus smartphones, Chromebooks, Chromecasts and other hardware equipment.

The Google has hired Ex-Motorola president Rick Osterloh. The Osterloh will overview and manage the overall work of the hardware unit as the caretaker and authority in the field. He will lead the Project Aura, which is intended to develop and reinvent the Google Glass. The Google launched this Google Glass Developer Kit in 2012, which was never released for individual customers. But, later in 2015, Google stopped manufacturing the Google Glass, and now the project is in hibernation mode. Now, Rick Osterloh will manage the reinventing process of the Google Glass.

With the reinvention of Google Glass, the hardware division of the company will concentrate on the development of the Nexus smartphones, Chromecast devices, and the Chromebooks. Currently, Google relies on the third party OEMs for the production of the Nexus Smartphones and the Chromebooks. The New hardware division from the company will help them to become independent in the hardware needs. In the Hardware section, Mr. Rick Osterloh will assume the charge of Senior Vice President on the hardware unit and have to report directly to the company CEO, Sundar Pichai.

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YouTube to Get Redesigned Home Screen and Intelligent Recommendations

YouTube_to_Get_Redesigned_Home_Screen_and_Intelligent_RecommendationsThe Google has launched the new update of YouTube app for iOS and Android. The new update has the redesigned home screen and straightforward and elegant design to make it easy to find and enjoy the videos. The Update is not official yet, as Google is testing it on a bunch of the people to get feedback about the new design.

In the latest update which is still in test mode has the attractive home screen designs. The videos on Home Screen have High Definition thumbnails. Also, the recommendation feature of videos is fantastic because Google team improved it to give better suggestions. The new recommendation is a part of Deep Neural Technology, which means it will trace the user search history and show the suggestions. It will be the self-learning technology to recommend the videos to users.

The Freshness of Videos is included in the recommendations too. The Newly uploaded videos, which are less than hour old are to be included and shown to the users. There is no information about these features on the Desktop versions, but the YouTube is giving preference to smartphone users this time. The YouTube is concentrating more on the Recommendations feature because the right recommendations help them to engage the user and make more money out of it. It is indeed a smart strategy by YouTube. The features will be integrated into the desktop versions of the YouTube soon.

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Google Introduces In-House Startup Incubator ‘Area 120’

Google In-House Incubator Area 120The Google is facing Brain Drain in the company. The talented employees are leaving the company to start their startup. To prevent this brain drain, the Google has begun in-house Startup incubator, named as “Area 120”. Area 120 is the In-house Incubator in Google Campus to help employees get funds for their innovative ideas.

The Incubator will be run by Executives of the Google team, named as Don Harrison, Broadley Horowitz. The Area 120 will upstand with the tradition of Google’s work environment, in which they allow employees to invest the 20% of their work hours time on the personal projects. The results of this policy are astonishing because this 20% work system helped Google employees to build the products like Google Adsense, Gmail, and Adsense. The Google is aiming at the markets outside the Search Engine. It wanted to become more than just Search Engine and related products company.

The Google’s Area 120 will help the company to acquire the ideas of their employees to spread the reach of an enterprise. The Google is now a part of “Alphabet” company, which is now the parent company of Google and other products from a company. So, the new ideas and companies funded by this incubator program will help “Alphabet” to spread in various markets. Behind the desperate try of Google to get beyond the Search Engine market, the Facebook rapid growth is the reason, said market experts.

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Google Rolling Material Design Update for Chrome Browser and OS

Material Design Update for Chrome Browser and OSThe Google started rolling out the Material Design for the Chrome browser. The Chrome Browser for Chrome OS is getting the Material Design update. The Browser and Chrome OS are getting the Material Design update with the update series 50. The Browser and Operating System will function same as before, but there are substantial changes with Material Design.

Also with the Material Design update to the Chrome OS, it will come up with the ‘Hybrid’ Mode. The Hybrid Mode introduced in the Chrome OS is made for the Chromebook with Touch inputs. In the Hybrid Mode, the Buttons and Icons get more padding and boundary to get quickly clicked by touch input. The Touch Based Chromebooks will have this feature enabled by Default. The Material Design update is available in the Chrome Browser on PC. Though, this feature is in development mode, so the Desktop Chrome browser users may not be able to experience it fully.

The users of Chrome DDesktop Browser on all other Operating Systems than Chrome OS can enable the Material Design Developer mode. For that, Users have to put “about:flags” in Chrome Address bar and let the “Material Design in the Browser’s top Chrome”, said Sebastian Gabriel, who is the designer at Google.

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Google Started Highlighting AMP Sites on Google News Results

Google’s Ambitious project, the Accelerated Mobile Pages is getting a boost in Search Engines Index. The Google started showing the AMP results in all platforms. Google announced that the Accelerated Mobile Pages for new sites would be highlighted in the search results. The pages will be emphasized in the Web, Android, Mobile and iOS versions of Google news. The News publications website who applied the AMP is getting preference in the Google News Search results.

The Accelerated Mobile Pages, in short the AMP are faster than the standard web pages. With AMP project, pages enabled with this technology load faster than regular web pages, consuming fewer data. Also, with the AMP, pages load other contents faster, like Videos and Images. After its announcement in 2015, many new publication websites, ad networks and websites started implementing it on their websites. The Google AMP is an open-source project, so everyone can implement it into their websites. In Google News Search Results, sites which have implemented the AMP on their web pages will be highlighted to differentiate between the regular pages and accelerated pages.

The Google Accelerated Mobile Pages is an open-source project. The code of this framework from Google is shared on the Github. We don’t know if it will get a good response from Google users or not, because Facebook Instant Articles and Apple news already caches the web pages within seconds. But still, it is good for those who are using low-speed internet connection.